The Racialized Landscapes of Real Property and Finance Capital in Western Massachusetts
Author(s): Christopher Douyard
Over the past 30 years, archaeologists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst have struggled with several perplexing transactions in the deed chain of the W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. There are several overlapping mortgages, and two apparent sales of the property. These documents seemingly contradict Du Bois’ accounts of the family’s continuous ownership of the property through the nineteenth century. Initially focused on these contradictions, I have shifted towards exploring the ways African Americans used to accessed finance capital in local/regional marketplaces. In this paper, using the documentary record of their engagement with real property, I explore the mechanisms used by Du Bois’ ancestors to enter capital markets. Additionally, I address the financial markets as racialized spaces, their impacts on landscapes, and the potential they provide for archaeological analysis at our sites of study.
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- Society for Historical Archaeology 2014 •
- ‘Black Yankees’ and the African Diaspora: Contemporary Perspectives on the Archaeology of African Americans in New England
Cite this Record
The Racialized Landscapes of Real Property and Finance Capital in Western Massachusetts. Christopher Douyard. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436918)